World’s first test to accurately predict depression and bipolar disorder – Newswise

A new test could help diagnose depression, providing hope for millions of people worldwide.
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University of South Australia scientists have developed the world’s first test to accurately predict mood disorders in people, based on the levels of a specific protein found in the brain.

Links between low levels of mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (mBDNF) and depression are well known but, until now, it hasn’t been possible to distinguish between the three forms of the BDNF protein in blood samples.

The mature form promotes the growth of neurons and protects the brain, but the other two BDNF forms – its precursor and the prodomain of BDNF – bind to different receptors, causing nerve degeneration and inflammation.

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